Champion on Board!

Sam get surprised by his tiny quarters and roommates aboard the train.

Sept. 16, 2008 — -- Here's the scene from about twenty minutes ago: Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, Chris Cuomo, political reporter and The Note author Rick Klein, a camera man and myself packed into Sam Champion's tiny train bedroom with a bewildered Sam Champion squeezed into a corner.

"We're really three to a room?" he asked wide-eyed.

"Yup, and you've got top bunk," Rick said without cracking a smile that I was desperately trying to hide.

Due to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ike, Sam had been reporting from Texas and met up with us today when we visited Niagara Falls. The other anchors were giving him a tour of the train and his new tiny home – which to his surprise came with two roommates, Rick Klein and myself.

Or so he thought.

"But in the bathroom, the shower is right over the commode, so that's convenient," Diane explained helpfully to Sam.

The anchors went on and on, telling Sam very matter-of-factly how everyone was three to a room and a schedule for going to the bathroom had to be worked out. Sadly he had just missed his last chance and, as Rick informed him, the bathroom would not be available for another few hours.

Eventually the laughter could not be held in any longer and everyone in the room burst.

I'm not sure if I'm offended or not by how thankful Sam seemed to be that I was not his roommate after all, but more than anything, we're just glad to have him back with us.

So while Sam gets settled in his room, alone, Rick and I are back to our humble living quarters and the train continues to chug along. But with Sam on board, we're certain to be in for a little more adventure.

Plus, Rick didn't mind waiting for Sam to show up while the prank was being staged.

"Basically, I got to sleep in Sam Champion's bed for about 20 minutes. That's something."